We are so spoiled.

That’s what I thought as I drove to pick up a case of bottled water because my grandsons were coming to help me in the yard on these upper 90 degree days. The water was less than $4 for a case of 40 bottles and I’ll recycle the bottles, but I almost stopped. Acknowledging to myself how lucky we are to have water, clean water, in a world where some peoples have little or no water and our own western states are suffering from a drought, I drifted off in thoughts.IMG_7624

My mind flashed back, way back, to my own youth. What did we do back then in the heat of the summer without bottled water? We’d never heard of hydration. We knew we needed water, but there was no big push for us to drink it. If you were thirsty, you stuck your head under the faucet or drank out of the hose.

I kept thinking about the drinking issue. What did we drink in the summer? I remember Grapette, the best grape soda ever, which is still sold at Walmart even though it’s too full of sugar for me to drink more than a couple of times a year. We had lemonade, which was also full of sugar because we used those little cans of frozen concentrate. And the ever present Kool-Aid, again with the sugar. Ice cubes were made in trays, so you didn’t have very many. I mean, how many trays could you fit in those small refrigerator freezers? Sometimes, we got a Pepsi or Coke.  Sometimes.

I played golf as a kid and carried my own clubs around the course in the heat. There were drinking fountains, but that was it. There were no carts to bring us drinks because there were no carts. Not even Fred Flintstone carts – because this is beginning to sound like the dark ages rather than the 1950s and 60s.

We had those metal cups in kind of metallic colors that are retro cool now. Those were for outside on our new patio. They made the drinks cold, but they sweated too much for inside tables. I had a flash of the little terry cloth covers that someone came up with to solve the sweating problem. There are too many things like that hidden in the files of my mind.

Jack the Milk Man gave us ice chips from his truck and nobody worried if the ice was dirty or not. If it was, we brushed it off before we put it in our mouths. Not that our hands were clean from playing outside.

When I went through South Dakota several years ago, I visited the famed Wall Drug, an American story if there ever was one. When Ted and Dorothy Hustead purchased Wall Drug in 1931, they thought they had found a place to use his pharmacy degree and build their own business. They plugged along until 1936 when Dorothy had the great idea of putting out signs offering free ice water for the weary travelers on the nearby highway. Now it’s a legend with Wall Drug signs across the country. Such was the appeal of a glass of iced water. I keep this magnet on my refrigerator to remind me of how an idea can take off – and the value of a cold drink on a hot day.  IMG_7625And so my mind wanders on a hot summer day, the perfect time to let your memories drift back to those simple times of sitting in the shade with a cold drink…or just picking up the hose. How refreshing are those pictures from the past…